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Initiatives may be direct or indirect: With the direct initiative, a successful proposition is placed directly on the ballot to be subject to vote (as exemplified by California's system).
With an indirect initiative, a successful proposition is first presented to the legislature for their consideration; however, if no acceptable action is taken after a designated period of time, the proposition moves to direct popular vote.
These findings are discussed in terms of prior research.
The earliest known direct democracy is said to be the Athenian democracy in the 5th century BC, although it was not an inclusive democracy: women, foreigners, and slaves were excluded from it.